Hubby new Ara Thomas, the bush trapper. Ara lived alone - secluded and by himself. He was a hardy old fella. He had determination, grit and a cheerful nature. He came out from his cabin to visit occasionally and to let his experiences flow to other minds. He shared the following comical tale.
3 hunters came out his way hunting for moose or elk. Ara had all kinds of interesting crafts, woodworking, pictures of wild life, and tree-burls that he would eagerlyshow off. The hunters were attracted to some of his paraphernalia as they ventured by on the road past his place…near the end of civilization.
The trapper had just been cooking a roast for lunch so he invited the bunch in to gab and eat. Stories flew back and forth about hunting, adventures, horns and the like. While the visiting went on Ara brought out the hot roast and food. The stories turned to the tastes of different meats. One of the group was especially strong in his opinions. He was telling how he would eat just about any meat..except bear meat of course which was disgusting. Bear was obnoxious. Bear was gross.
The guests were gracious and complemented Ara on his good cooking…and my that meat was really good!
Years later a member of that hunting party met ‘ol Ara again someplace and finally burst forth with the question that had nagged him ever since. “What kind of meat was that, I wasn’t sure…although I have my suspicions?”, he begged.
“Bear”, laughed Ara.
I can only explain a grain-fed bear as being like sweet pork. You want to be sure it wasn’t eating out of a garbage dump! One time I ate bear sausage, but couldn’t handle the sight and thought of it. Quess why. I skinned most of a bear once but I was turned off because my man said it looked too much like a human for him to do. The hide was thin and gritty from dirt but I kept at it like a trooper. The more I thought about the dirty job, the more I wondered why I should do it…and quit.
Moose is dry and fat-less – a lot like Buffalo. Deer is sometimes has a stronger ‘wild’ flavour depending on whether it’s eaten grain, Elk is moister and not so wild tasting. Elk is usually the best of the three. Beaver is stringy, Porcupine reminds me of corned beef, Duck is greasy-depending on the time of the year, Rabbit is like dark Chicken meat, Partridge is firm-to-tough but Chicken-like, Spruce Hens are really dark meat and taste and smell like spruce needles if taken late, Prairie Chicken are like small but plump grass-fed chicken (great).
There’s not much else available to eat in the winter except meat and bark, unless you dig to the bottom of a snowdrift . You have to have a storage or go to a store. That’s the facts of it.
Image credit: chbaum / 123RF Stock Photo